Nikon Learn & Explore

Speedlight Tutorial: Day to Night Technique

Wireless lighting allows you to create dramatic lighting scenarios that enhance your images. Although it may seem daunting, using Speedlights off-camera is easier than you think. With Nikon’s Creative Lighting System, you can easily set up a Speedlight or two (or more) and control their output right from your Nikon D-SLR.

Corporate photographer David Tejada is a location shooter; traveling to where his subjects are found—on construction sites, inside factories and executive offices. David brings a minimal amount of gear with him on location. By using a minimal amount of equipment, placed correctly, the viewer is given the perception that the lighting situations in the photographs that David produces are more complex.

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David Tejada photo of sax player outdoors night look

© David Tejada

You might think the only way to turn day into night is by blocking out the sun. David will show you how you can control your exposure to make it look like nighttime. Add in a couple of deliberately placed Speedlights to give the subject the look of being lit by a lamppost or bare bulib over an adjacent doorway—and gel the Speedlights for added drama. Because David was positioned in bright daylight, he made sure to use the lens hood on the lens. Concerned that the built-in pop-up flash's signal would not reach the remote Speedlights because of the lens hood, David placed an SB-700 on the camera's hot shoe which acted as the Master.

diagram of lights for David Tejada pic of sax player

© David Tejada

The main SB-900 Speedlight is set to Channel 1, Group A and positioned on a boom, directed downwards towards the subject. The accent light, another SB-900, is set to Channel 1, Group B, with a blue gel to add drama to the scene. An SB-700 Speedlight on the camera’s hot-shoe acts as the Master, setting off the remote Speedlights. The ambient daylight acts as the fill light, filling in the shadows. A D7000 D-SLR and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens was used to take the photographs, exposure was set to 1/125 second at f/5, ISO 100. White balance was set to daylight.

© David Tejada

Speedlight Tutorial: - Learn how to turn day to night using Speedlights.

Watch the video, to learn how to turn a busy mid-day city street into an image that looks as if it were shot in the middle of the night.